City talks new recycling program amid industry changes overseas

Overseas recycling industry affecting Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The City of Bakersfield is considering changing their recycling program amid  industry changes overseas. 

"Chinese cities have been growing so fast, their government has decided to say lets keep our mill capacity for our Chinese cities' trash, not the rest of the world," said Kevin Barnes, Solid Waste Director with the City of Bakersfield. 

According to Barnes, the state and Kern County is now feeling the effect. 

"There are other cities that are canceling programs, there are other cities cutting materials out of programs but we are going to inform City Council of the pros and cons of both of those," said Barnes. 

But Barnes says eliminating the program is unlikely. Another option is increasing the recycling fee for residents.

A four dollar fee per household each year in addition to what all Bakersfield residents are required to pay, even if they don't use the blue bins. 

But Barnes says residents are recycling.

"The state average is 44%, and Bakersfield is up at 58% right now."

Barnes pushing for community members to follow the recycling guidelines they provide and keep recycling efforts going -- even in difficult times. 

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